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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

New Art Travesty ~ Frodo as Caravaggio's Lute Player....

Posted on 2006.10.30 at 13:36


mechtild at 2006-10-31 20:25 (UTC) (Link)
Oliver Reed! That's just what I thought, Whiteling. And wouldn't he have been a natural to play Caravaggio. You know, though, perhaps he was unavailable or too old. Because, guess what? Wendy informed me that there WAS a film made about Caravaggio, by avant garde director Derek Jarman, back in 1986. Someone named Nigel Terry plays Caravaggio, but guess who plays the man whom C. eventually kills and it exiled for? Sean Bean! And he's supposed to be Caravaggio's lover in the fictionalized film treatment. Tilda Swinton is in it, too. I looked it up in our library and video stores, but nothing doing. So I looked in inter-library loan and it looks like I'll be able to borrow it. Too bad it's not on DVD; no screencaps will be possible. *sniffle*

Here's a link to the customer reviews: sounds pretty wild (and Bean sounds yummmmy):


I saw that portrait while Googling, Whiteling. But I also found the pastel on which that is based. That's the version made to go on an Italian lira note of some denomination. But the original is even better. It's by Ottavio Leoni, a posthumous portrait of the artist from 1621, eleven years after Caravaggio's death. He must have known him. C. did sneak several self-portraits into his paintings, which all confirm the Oliver Reed resemblance. I'm going to post the pastel as an addition to the post above, but here's a link to it:

whiteling at 2006-10-31 21:49 (UTC) (Link)
As for Jarman’s film - yes, I had heard about it, but have never seen it. It sounds wonderful! It was once aired on German TV, years ago, in the middle of the night and I had no VCR then! GRRR!
Here’s a link to a little essay about the film (note the film still on the first page): http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/films/caravaggio/presskit.pdf
It draws some interesting parallels between Jarman and Caravaggio, and it provides a list of paintings which referred to and/or re-created in the film.

mechtild at 2006-10-31 23:55 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that makes it look extra-cool. I am a little concerned about the anachronisms mentioned in the Amazon customer reviews, though. I usually don't care for that conceit (like having contemporary pop music to score period films, etc.). We shall see. If the loan ever comes in, I will tell you ALL about it!

whiteling at 2006-11-02 10:07 (UTC) (Link)
If the loan ever comes in, I will tell you ALL about it!
Yes, pretty please!

Wow, your second ETA was fascinating! I was always puzzling over David's expression in this painting. In light of the fact that it was Cecco who served as model for David and C. showed himself as Goliath, it makes more sense to me - was Caravaggio aware that his passions would kill him, so to speak, as he was "losing his head" when it came to young men? A sort of self-destructive relationship - with both parts knowing about the unavoidable ending? It seems logical to me that a passionate man like Caravaggio would merge life with art and vice versa.
mechtild at 2006-11-03 00:46 (UTC) (Link)
Glad you enjoyed reading it, Whiteling. How I would love to do a film or read a novel based on that relationship and the end part of Caravaggio's life! I have only concentrated on his secular works, but he did a lot of very moving religious work - always criticised for making the subjects too realistic and not idealized enough - during his last decade, including after his exile.

Here's what Wendy wrote about the film, above. It's so hard to browse the comments now that they have "collapsed", I'll just copy it here for you. It sure sounds like it's worth watching:

Oh Mech,
you will ADORE this movie !!! It is luscious in its faithfully reproduced Caravaggio-like atmosphere, and the very film quality itself is just like a Caravaggio masterpiece...the lighting, the colours, the gorgeous young men - everything !! I believe Tilda Swinton is a big presence too !! It is very reminiscent of a Peter Greenaway movie, with all the sitting around, doing not very much, and then sudden shocking action, that that entails...a strange other worldly feel, and intensely atmospheric !! and, yeah, a very young Sean Bean as the lover !!!

Derek Jarman was a very intense, and very Gay film director who enjoyed pushing the boundaries of Good Taste with absolute relish !! He was the one who did a film called "Jubilee" featuring the local Punks from the King's Road. back in the year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977...what a riot of a film set in Post Apocalyptic Britain, with a cast of bored youths, who did the most outrageous things for kicks...Derek Jarman was never one for limits...he died of Aids sometime in the Eighties, I think, and the World lost a Brilliant film-maker...
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